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边疆民族地区高中生英语课堂交际意愿调查研究

作者:优质论文王老师 日期:2021-10-30 15:08:47 点击:106

摘要:英语,作为一门最重要的国际语言,一直受到中国教育系统的重视。然而,在各 种考试,特别是全国高考的巨大压力下,大多数教师和学生主要注重掌握以考试为导 向的英语技能,而不是使用这种语言。因此,在中国,大多数学生都不愿意说英语和 用英语交流,这也导致他们缺乏足够的英语交际能力。普通高中英语新课程标准(2017 年)强调高中英语教学要重视英语的运用和英语交际能力的培养。不可否认的是,学 生的英语交际能力在很大程度上受到了英语交际意愿的影响。获得对高中生交际意愿 现状更深刻和全面的了解,对帮助真正提高高中生的英语交际能力有重大意义。近年 来,关于用英语交际的意愿的研究才刚刚开始。然而,以前的大多数研究都集中在大 学生,而对高中生的关注较少。此外,以前对边疆民族地区高中生交际意愿的调查研 究就更少了。因此,一项关于边疆民族地区高中生英语课堂交际意愿的研究是当前迫 切需要的。

为了了解边疆民族地区高中生的英语交际意愿,笔者从一所典型的边疆民族中 学,泸西县第一中学挑选了 130名来自一个文科班和一个理科班的高二学生和 5名高 中英语教师进行调查。泸西县第一中学是云南省中部一所普通高中,很多少数民族学 生和汉族学生一起在里面学习。本研究采用问卷调查法,调查了边疆地区高中生课堂 内英语意愿现状。此外,笔者用半结构访谈获取了更具体的信息和事实。本研究采用 定量与定性相结合的方法。共收集有效问卷130份。数据分析使用软件SPSS20和半 结构访谈使用记笔记的方式进行记录。

研究结果表明:第一,高中生在课堂内用英语交际的意愿普遍较低。第二,学生 的英语水平、自信心、焦虑感和性格是影响学生课堂内英语交际意愿的最大的四个因 素。第三,汉族学生和少数民族学生在课堂内讲英语的兴趣和课堂内说英语的焦虑上 存在显著差异。第四,英语口语任务越容易,话题越有趣和课堂氛围越轻松,学生越 愿意用英语交际。从半结构访谈的结果来看,教师的教学方法、学生的英语水平和课 堂气氛对高中生英语课堂内交际意愿的影响最大。

本研究得出以下结论和启示:提高学生的英语交际意愿是提高学生英语交际能力 的关键。教师需要把以教师为中心的课堂转变为以学生为核心的课堂,更加注重学生 英语交际能力的培养。教师还需要选择有趣的话题和活动,为学生创造一个良好的环 境来提高他们用英语交际意愿。老师应该在教室里多讲英语。此外,高中生要树立自 信心和保持积极乐观的态度,培养说英语的兴趣。希望本研究能为高中英语教学提供 一些启示,为高中教师和学生提供一些有益的教学建议。 

关键词:高中生;英语交际意愿;边疆民族地区

Abstract

English, as one of the most important international languages in the world, has always played an indispensable part in Chinese education. However, under huge pressure from various exams, especially the National College Entrance Examination, most teachers and students mainly focus on mastering exam-oriented English skills instead of the use of this language. Therefore, a large number of Chinese students are unwilling to communicate in English and lack enough English communicative competence. New English Curriculum Standards for General High Schools( 2017 ) lays great emphasis on the use of English and cultivation of communicative competence. It is an undoubted fact that students' communicative competence is greatly affected by students' willingness to communicate (WTC). Therefore, gaining a more incisive and comprehensive understanding of the present condition of senior high school students' WTC in English class can make a big difference to genuinely help raise high school students' English communicative capability. Research on willingness to communicate in English has just begun in recent years. However, most previous studies focus on college students, while less concern has been given to high school students. What's more, there are even fewer previous studies on the investigation of high school students' WTC in English in frontier ethnic areas. So a study on high school students' WTC in English in frontier ethnic areas is badly needed.

With the purpose of learning about the current situation of high school students' WTC in English class in frontier ethnic areas, the author selected 130 senior two students who are from an arts class and a science class, and five English teachers from a typical frontier ethnic high school, Lu Xi No.1 Middle School, to carry out the investigation. Lu Xi No.1 Middle School is a common high school in the middle of Yunnan province where a lot of Ethnic students are studying with Han students together. A questionnaire was conducted to do an investigation about the present situation of high school students' WTC in English class. A semi-interview was designed to acquire more concrete information and facts. This study combines quantitative research method with qualitative research methods appropriately. In all, 130 valid questionnaires were collected. The data was analyzed using SPSS20 and the semi-interview was recorded by taking notes.

Research results show that, first of all, the present situation of high school students' WTC in English class is far from satisfaction. The majority of students are not willing to use English to communicate in class unless they are required. Secondly, students' WTC in English class is greatly influenced by their English proficiency, self-confidence, apprehension and personality, which are the top four factors affecting students' WTC in English classroom to a great extent. Thirdly, Han students and minorities have significant differences both in interest and anxiety to use English to communicate in class. Lastly, the easier and more interesting English speaking tasks students are facing, as well as more relaxing the class atmosphere they are exposed to, the higher their willingness to speak in English in class becomes. As for results of the semi-interview, it also shows students' English proficiency, teachers' teaching methods and class atmosphere are the main factors which have a big effect on students' WTC in English class.

Conclusions and implications of this study are as follow: First of all, raising students' WTC in English class is the key to improving students' communicative competence in English. Teachers are supposed to turn the teacher-centered classes into student-centered ones, and it must be stressed that teachers ought to spare no effort to cultivate and improve students' capability of communicating in English class. What's more, teachers also need to choose interesting topics and activities, and create a favorable and friendly class atmosphere for students to promote their WTC in English class. It goes without saying that English teachers are obligated to try to speak more English in class. On the other hand, senior high school students need to build up self-confidence and hold positive and enthusiastic attitudes toward their English learning. In addition, students ought to find ways to develop and increase their interest in using English to communicate, for instance, watching English films. Hopefully, this study can throw some light on the education of high school English and offer some helpful inspiration for both senior high school teachers and students.

Key words: senior high school students; willingness to communicate in English; frontier ethnic areas

Contents

Acknowledgements.................................................................................................................................  II

摘要.................................................................... IV

Abstract..................................................................................................................................................  VI

Contents................................................................................................................................................. VIII

Chapter 1 Introduction.............................................................................................................................  1

1.1      Background of the Study........................................................................................................ 1

1.2      Purpose of the Study.............................................................................................................  3

1.3      Significance of the Study......................................................................................................  3

1.4      The Layout of the Thesis........................................................................................................ 5

Chapter 2 Literature Review...................................................................................................................  6

2.1      The Definitions of Willingness to Communicate................................................................  6

2.1.1       The Definition of Willingness to Communicate in L1              7

2.1.2       The Definition of Willingness to Communicate in L2...........................................  8

2.2      Development of Main Models of L2 WTC........................................................................... 9

2.2.1       Portion of MacIntyre's (1994) WTC Model..........................................................  10

2.2.2       MacIntyre and Charos'(1996) Model of WTC in L2............................................  11

2.2.3       MacIntyre et al.'s (1998) Heuristic Model of Variables Influencing WTC in L2... 13

2.2.4       Wen and C16ment's(2003) Conceptualization ofWTC in A Chinese Setting             15

2.3      Previous Studies in L2 WTC atHome andAbroad.............................................................. 18

2.3.1.      PreviousOverseasStudiesinL2WTC........................................................................ 18

2.3.1.1      StudiesofIndividualDifferencesinL2WTC.................................................. 18

2.3.1.2StudiesofContextFactorsinL2WTC.................................................................. 19

2.3.2.      Previous Domestic Studies in L2 WTC.................................................................. 20

2.3.2.1   StudiesofIndividualFactorsinL2WTC.......................................................... 20

2.3.2.2StudiesofSituationalFactorsinL2WTC............................................................. 21

2.3.2.3      StudiesofL2WTCinFrontierEthnicAreas..................................................... 21

Chapter 3 Methodology.......................................................................................................................... 23

3.1     Research Questions..............................................................................................................  23

3.2      Subjects ofthe Study.............................................................................................................. 23

3.3      Research Instruments..........................................................................................................  25

3.3.1      Questionnaires........................................................................................................... 25

3.3.2       Interviews................................................................................................................  27

3.4      Data collection Procedures................................................................................................... 27

3.5      Data Collection and Analysis.............................................................................................  29

Chapter 4 Results and Discussions.......................................................................................................  30

4.1      Results and Discussions of the Questionnaires.................................................................  30

4.1.1Results and Discussions of the Current Situation of Students' English

Communication in Class..........................................................................................................  30

4.1.1.1       Percentage Analysis of Each Item..................................................................  30

4.1.1.2       Interest in Using English to Communicate in Class......................................  37

4.1.1.3       Anxiety to Use English to Communicate in Class                37

4.1.1.4       Attitudes toward Using English to Communicate in Class...........................  38

4.1.1.5       Times of Students' English Communication in class....................................  38

4.1.2       Results and Discussions of WTC Scale in High School English Class...................  39

4.2      Results and Discussions of Interviews................................................................................ 41

Chapter 5 Conclusions..........................................................................................................................  48

5.1      Major Findings of the Study...............................................................................................  48

5.2      Pedagogical Implications....................................................................................................  49

5.2.1       Implications for Senior High School English Teaching............................................  49

5.2.2       Implications for Senior High School Students' English Learning............................  50

5.3 Limitations of the Study.......................................................................................................... 51

5.4      Recommendations for Further Research............................................................................. 52

References..............................................................................................................................................  53

Appendix I Questionnaire for the Current Situation of Students' English Communication in Class56 Part Two: L2 Willingness to Communicate Scale in English class...................................................  57

Appendix II Interview Questions for English Teachers.................................................................................................................................................................. 59

攻读学位期间发表的学术论文和研究成果....................................................................... 60 

Chapter 1 Introduction

1.1    Background of the Study

It's widely believed that English is the first lingua franca in the world, and it is currently thought to be a universal language used by millions of people. As the world is changing with each passing day, English has inevitably become an irreplaceable language in the communication in all fields, such as business, commerce, politics, culture, technology and so on. No one can deny that Learning English well is a must, no matter where the person is or what job the person wants to do. Great importance has always been attached to English learning of Chinese students. In China, almost every student needs to learn English from their elementary school to college. Some students even need to further learn English after graduation for the sake of their career and life.

However, although China has the largest number of English learners, most of them are just good English test-takers instead of fluent English speakers, due to the huge pressure from various Exams. They master many exam-orientated abilities but lack enough communicative competence to actually use English. No matter what their English proficiency levels are, most of English learners in China suffer some deficiency in the ability to use English in authentic communication. Some English learners even can't speak English fluently in spite of their high scores in English exams.

Learning English well is exceedingly important to most Chinese high school students. High school Students need consolidate what they have learned before and make preparations for their college English learning. Only if they master the basic English skills well in high school can they have better and further English learning in their college and future. Therefore, If students can't use English to communicate in their high school, they are not very likely to develop good English communication competence afterwards.

In China, learning English is most likely to take place in English class, especially in Frontier Ethnic Areas, where only few students can get some opportunities to have an authentic English conversation with foreigners. In addition, there are not many students who will use and speak English outside the class due to the lack of language environment. Therefore, classroom is the best and most meaningful place to observe students' communication behavior and improve their English learning. Improving students' WTC in English class is the most appropriate and significant way to raise their overall English WTC. The author, with several years' teaching experience in a senior high school, has found a typical phenomenon that most senior high school students are reluctant to communicate in English in classroom. When teachers give questions or do interactive activities in English, most students just keep silent, even if some of them actually possess high linguistic and communicative competence. Only a few students actively participate in the English speaking process.

The most important purpose of learning a language is to precisely use it to communicate in authentic situations. Modern language pedagogy attaches great importance to the real communication of a target language, which should never be neglected in English learning process. The success of second language acquisition is determined by how frequently and correctly the target language is used rather than the scores they get in various exams. In the New Curriculum Standard for Senior High School English (2017), it is clearly stated that English education in high school should place a high value on cultivating and improving students' abilities to use the language. Communicative competence has been proposed as one important part of developing comprehensive language application ability of senior high school students.

Students' willing to communicate (WTC) has a crucial influence on English learners' communication competence. In second language acquisition, learners' WTC is considered to be one of the most vital factors. That is to say, whether actual language communication behavior can take place largely depends on language speakers' WTC. Undoubtedly, the more willing they are to communicate in English, the better their English proficiency and communicative competence will be. Improving students' WTC in English is the first step to raise their communicative competence. As a consequence, figuring out practical and effective ways to improve English learners' WTC is a key to improve their communicative competence. The higher students' WTC is, the better they use English to communicate. Thus, in recent years, researchers and educators show growing interest in exploring English learners' willingness to communicate, what factors will influence their WTC and how to improve their willingness to communicate in English.

After doing some literature review, the author found that although there are many researchers who have studied the characteristics of students' WTC in English and explored their influencing factors in recent years, most of their researches are aimed at college students' WTC. Only a few studies are intended for high school students. More researches are needed to be conducted about it. What's more, There are even fewer studies on the research of senior high school students' WTC in English in frontier ethnic areas, where students' English communicative competence is much lower and badly need ways to enhance students' willing to communicate in English. Finding out some valuable strategies to improve students' WTC in frontier ethnic areas is very worthwhile to explore, which most researchers haven't done systematically so far.

1.2    Purpose of the Study

As is said above, students' WTC is vital for them to develop their communicative competence. The author reviewed some major researches on willingness to communicate. Based on the theoretical models of MacInytre's heuristic model and Wen and clement's conceptualization of WTC, the purpose of this study is to make a relatively incisive and comprehensive investigation into the current situation of students' WTC in high school English class in frontier ethnic areas, analyze the main factors that affect their WTC, and explore some practical and useful strategies for teachers and students to adopt and improve students' WTC and communicative competence. The author took a typical frontier school, Lu xi No.1 senior high school as an example and chose 130 high school students to do a questionnaire to investigate the current situation of high school students' WTC in English in class. Besides, the author conducted a semi-interview of five high school English teachers to get deeper and more concrete information.

Hopefully, this study can help get a glimpse of the existing problems on students' WTC in high school and gain some practical strategies to ameliorate high school English teaching.

This study mainly focuses on three researching questions. (1) What is the current situation of students' WTC in high school English class? (2) What factors greatly affect students' WTC in high school English class? (3) What can be done to improve students' WTC in high school English class from the perspective of teachers and students?

1.3    Significance of the Study

The findings of this study are able to provide both theoretical and useful perspectives for high school English education. Besides, it has profound meaning on the further research of second language acquisition.

Firstly, this study shows theoretical significance. As a matter of fact, it is very common that most high school English teachers don't know the theory of WTC. This study can let more teachers learn some about this theory, which can contribute to their professional development to some extent. Furthermore, this study can be valuable for relevant educators. This study can let them get a more incisive understanding of the current situation of English education and know the problems which commonly exist in high school English teaching. It is hoped that more practical tactics can be found to solve these problems, and great progress can be made in high school English Education.

Secondly, this study shows practical significance for teachers. This study concentrates on the WTC of high school students in English class, and the research findings are bound to provide some implications for high school teachers and help them with their English teaching. Teachers get a deeper and better understanding about the present situation of students' WTC and the causes for it. Based on the study findings, they can adopt some helpful strategies to enhance students' English WTC, and further promote students' English communicative competence. At the same time, their professional competence can be improved as well, which is of great help to their career and future development.

Lastly, this study also shows practical significance for students. This study can help students be aware of the importance of communicative competence and WTC. They can analyze what factors affect their WTC in their English learning personally. After figuring out their problems, they can make some changes to enhance their WTC in English. For example, they can be more confident and improve their self-perceived Communication competence. By improving their WTC in English, they can master better spoken English and promote their overall English learning.

This study is to make an empirical study of students' WTC and its influencing factors, with the purpose of finding useful strategies to improve students' WTC. Consequently, this study is extremely meaningful and valuable to generate and cultivate students' WTC in high school as well as their future. Hopefully, this study can bring some inspiration to the English education in high school, and provide several practical proposals for both teachers and students to make their English communicative competence become much better eventually.

1.4      The Layout of the Thesis

There are five chapters in this thesis.

Chapter One is the introduction of this study. It is made up of four parts, the background, the purpose, the significance as well as the layout of the study.

Chapter Two provides an overall literature review of WTC. First of all, the definitions of WTC both in L1 and in L2 will be introduced. Then, this chapter does some relevant review on the development of the four models of WTC. Besides, some researchers have done a lot of previous studies on it,and their findings are analyzed in this chapter as well, which are of great value to the study of this thesis.

Chapter Three introduces the research methodology of this study. Apart from this thesis's research questions, research subjects, research instruments, and research procedures, data collection and analysis are contained in this chapter as well. The author combines quantitative and qualitative research methods appropriately in this thesis.

Chapter Four focuses on the research results and discussions of questionnaires and the notes of semi-structured interviews.

Chapter Five presents the major findings of this research, its implications and suggestions this study provides for high school teachers and students, limitations of this research and recommendations for further research.

Chapter 2 Literature Review

This chapter provides an overall literature review of WTC. Its definitions, models, some empirical studies at home and abroad on willingness to communicate (WTC) are presented. First of all, the definitions of willingness to communicate in L1 and L2 will be introduced. Then, this chapter does some review on the development of the four models of WTC. Besides, some researchers have done a lot of previous studies on it, and their findings are analyzed in this chapter as well, which are of great value to the study of this thesis.

2.1    The Definitions of Willingness to Communicate

The early research on willingness to communicate was intended for the communication in L1. In daily communication, some people are very willing to communicate with others, while some people will try to avoid interacting with others, even if their language proficiency is very high. This phenomenon aroused the interest of many scholars, who began to do some research and try to explain it. As a matter of fact, before the term WTC was put forward formally by McCroskey, some other terms were all used to explain this phenomenon.

Burgeon (1976) came up with the concept “Unwillingness to communicate” first. And it refers to a predisposition to chronically avoid oral communication, due to such factors as introversion, lack of communication competence, alienation, anomie, and communication apprehension. Mortensen and his associates (1977) took the term “predisposition toward verbal behavior" to describe the phenomenon about an individual's regular amount of communication. They testified the regularity of individuals' communication by a predisposition toward verbal behavior (PVB) scale made by them. The concept of Leary's “shyness” was revised by McCroskey and Richmond (1982) and developed into a scale. They found the degree of shyness can determine the amount of talk and predict the tendency of being timid or reserved.

The original purpose of the term WTC was to use in the studies on the first language (LI) communication (McCroskey & Baer, 1985). McCroskey and Richmond (1990) treated WTC as a personality trait and defined it as "variability in talking behavior”. WTC referred to individuals' tendencies to engage in communication in the L1, when given the free choices (McCroskey & Baer, 1985).

2.1.1    The Definition of Willingness to Communicate in L1

The concept of willingness to communicate is originated from the study on willingness to communicate in L1 which was made by McCroskey and his associates. McCroskey and Richmond (1990:23) thought L1 WTC was a personality-based predisposition, which was consistent in different communicative contexts. It was seen that L1 WTC was a stable tendency in influencing whether to communicate when chances came.

Initially, the term WTC was used to describe the difference when individuals communicate in their first or second language. Willingness to communicate in L1 refers to whether the learners have the tendency to communicate with others in the situation in which opportunities are given. Even if the willingness to communicate of learners is different when they are faced with different people and in different situations, in general, they will be divided into talkative and silent speakers. Therefore, willingness to communicate in L1 is a relatively stable personality characteristic, influenced by factors such as introversion, anomie and alienation, self-esteem, communicative competence and communicative anxiety.

Canadian scholar MacIntyre adopted the approach of path analysis and found that communicative anxiety and self-perceived communicative Competence are two main factors directly influencing communicative willingness. However, personality traits, abnormality, self-esteem and introversion only indirectly affect communicative intention through two main factors.

The pioneering study of MacIntyre and Charos indicates that the concept of communicative intention extends from native language communication to the field of second language acquisition. They synthesized the communicative intention model of native language and the social education model of Canadian scholar, Gardner, preconceived the relationship between communicative intention and learning motivation, and adopted path models to determine that self-perceived communicative competence and communicative anxiety directly predicted communicative intention, while communicative intention and learning motivation jointly predicted the frequency of communication, which provides important empirical data for the theory of communicative intention in second language.

In a word, WTC means the language learner's personality-based orientation toward talking. In the primary stage of its development, WTC was regarded as a personality trait, showing stable individual differences at different time and in different situations.

2.1.2    The Definition of Willingness to Communicate in L2

When the construct of L1 WTC was firstly applied to L2 context, there was no much change in the definition. As the progress of research on WTC, some scholars proposed that L1 WTC and L2 WTC were totally different. MacIntyre et al. thought L2 WTC was more complicated than L1 WTC, so it was impossible that L2 WTC was a simple manifestation ofL1 WTC (MacIntyre, Clement and Dornyei & Noels, 1998:546).

According to Skehan (1989:48), “...we may be deal with the willingness different learners have to talk in order to learn”, which might be hard for researchers to understand, and MacIntyre, Baker, Clement and Donovan (2003:590) thought the willingness to communicate referred to L2 WTC. Then, MacIntyre and his team defined L2 WTC as “a readiness to enter into discourse at a particular time with a particular person or persons, using a L2” (MacIntyre etal., 1998:547). This kind of readiness has a big influence on deciding learners' frequency of communication. Besides, Kang (2005:291) defined L2 WTC as an individual's volitional inclination towards actively engaging in the act of communication in a specific situation. Obviously, L2 WTC is considered as situational variables. Furthermore, Tannenbaum and Tahar (2008:284) mentioned that the construct of L2 WTC was interestingly interfaced with Bakhtin's notion of dialogue, and to be means to communicate dialogically was stressed (Bakhtin, 1981:287). Obviously, this construct of WTC connects WTC with dialogue and break the boundary between WTC and dialogue. Shi Yunzhang (2008) defined L2 WTC as the probability that an L2 learner would initiate communication inside and outside the classroom when given choices. Shi Yunzhang divided the learner's communicative situations into inside and outside the classroom.

MacIntyre and his team proposed a pyramidal model of communicative intention theory in L2.The model shows that communicative intention directly predicts the frequency of communication, and communicative intention is influenced by a series of factors, including language, communication and social psychology. Factors that directly affect communicative intention include: the desire to communicate with an individual and confidence in a specific communicative situation. The factors that indirectly affect communicative intention include: social environment, intergroup atmosphere, intergroup attitude and intergroup motivation; Interpersonal motivation; Personality; Communicative competence and overall second language communicative confidence. Situational confidence and overall communicative confidence both contain two subconcepts: self-perceived communicative competence and communicative anxiety.

Wen and Clement further expanded the theoretical connotation of the willingness to communicate in a second language. In their opinion, the communicative willingness model of MacIntyre and the team is applicable to the western second-language environment, but for Chinese students, local culture has a profound influence on their communicative willingness. They put forward a model of English communicative willingness which is applicable in Chinese classroom environment, which distinguishes the difference between the desire to communicate and the willingness to communicate. The former refers to "the conscious choice and preference when learners are to communicate” and the latter refers to" learners' psychological preparation when they are to enter specific communicative activities”. They believe that although students have the desire to communicate with others, this desire is often influenced by many factors, such as other-directed self, their concern of losing face and obedient learning style. Eventually their desires to communicate fail s to develop into communicative willingness.

What differs willingness to communicate in L1 and L2 is that the definitions of willingness to communicate in L2 contain the duality of trait states, which not only reflect stable personality traits, but also fluctuate with different situations This is because the process of learning and using a foreign language involves social and individual psychological factors such as culture, self, identity and so on, and insufficient language level also increases the challenge and uncertainty of second language communication. Therefore, MacIntyre defined L2 communicative willingness as "the tendency to communicate in a second language with a certain person at a certain time”.

2.2    Development of Main Models of L2 WTC

This part provides the most significant and valuable models of L2 WTC according to their chronological order. The development of the models of L2 WTC shows more and more researchers have laid much emphasis on the study of WTC. There are four main models influencing the research of L2 WTC. These four models are portion of MacIntyre's (1994)WTC model, MacIntyre and Charos' (1996) model of WTC in L2, MacIntyre et al.(1998) heuristic model of variables influencing WTC in L2, and Wen & Clement's (2003)conceptualization ofWTC in a Chinese setting . It goes without saying that it's these four models that provide solid theoretical foundation to the research ofWTC.

2.2.1    Portion of MacIntyre's (1994) WTC Model

Although some researchers and scholars have noticed the WTC in L2 varies person from person and WTC plays a crucial part in language speakers' communication competence, there was not any formal model of L2 WTC until the first model was put forward by MacIntyre in 1994. In the model (Figure2.1), it is very clear that speakers' willingness to communicate in L2 is affected by two factors, perceived communication competence and communication anxiety. When a speaker has a low perceived communication competence, he will have a high communication anxiety, which means his L2 WTC will be low and it is very likely that he is not willing to communicate in L2. The reverse is also true. When a speaker has a higher perceived communication competence and a lower communication anxiety, his L2 WTC will be high. Besides, in this model, we can also know that a speakers' WTC has a big effect on a speakers' Frequency of communication. That is to say, when a speaker is more willing to be involved in communicationwithothers, his frequency of communication will be much higher.

This model is the first model of L2 WTC. It is very concise and simple, but its factors involved and considered are relatively confined. It is mainly about the path model of WTC in L1. It only mentions two factors influencing L2 WTC. So, to some degree, it is limited and not very comprehensive. However, this model laid very solid foundation for the later study ofL2 WTC.

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Figure 2.1 MacIntyre's (1994) WTC Model

 2.2.2    MacIntyre and Charos'(1996) Model of WTC in L2

As it said above, MacIntyre's WTC model (1994) is mainly for WTC in L1. But as many scholars paid more and more attention to the L2 WTC, based on MacIntyre's WTC model in 1994, MacIntyre and Charos did further research about it and put forward a more comprehensive model in 1996. This is the first model focus on WTC in L2 and is considered to be the turn-point in the research on WTC. This model is still a personality-based construct. Compared with MacIntyre's WTC model in 1994, this model (Figure2.2) is more concrete and it adds more factors and variables, intergrativeness and attitude towards learning situation to the previous model. This model clearly presents the relations among Perceived L2 Competence, integrativeness, attitudes, motivation and L2 WTC. It can be seen clearly that a speaker's perceived L2 competence is positively related to L2 WTC, L2 anxiety is negatively related to L2 WTC, integrativeness and attitude towards the learning situation are positively related to L2 WTC, A speaker's L2 anxiety has a great impact on his perceived L2 competence, his intergrativeness and attitude. A learner is more anxious, he is more unwilling to communicate in L2.

In this model, motivation is a key factor affecting L2 WTC. A speaker's motivation is higher, and he is more likely to communicate in L2. A speaker's motivation is dominated by his integrativeness and his attitudes toward the learning situation, which indirectly affect learners' WTC. It's the first time that the opinion that emotion and situation indirectly influence a speaker's L2 WTC was proposed, which has a profound and meaningful effect on the L2 teaching and learning. In keeping with MacIntyre's WTC model in 1994, perceived L2 Competence and L2 anxiety are still two important elements of WTC in L2.what's more, a speaker's L2 communication frequency is also directly influenced by his perceived L2 Competence. That is the reason why many scholars believe that improving a learners' Self-perceived communication competence (SPCC) is an essential part in improving his L2 learning and speaking. A learner who has a greater SPCC is likely to have more frequent language use and communication.

This model is a personality-based L2 WTC construct, which refers to learners' communicative tendency in the voluntary situation, with relative stability, but it is not involved too many situational factors. For example, it doesn't take the case into consideration that some learners with very strong communicative competence don't want to communicate with others at a particular time, however, there are some learners who have limited communicative competence would like to seize every opportunity to interact and communicate. As a result, this model can't fully summarize the process of L2 WTC as a whole.

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Figure 2. 2 MacIntyre and Charos'(1996) Model ofWTC in L2

Undoubtedly, MacIntyre and Charos'(1996) model of WTC in L2 is still inadequate and lack more factors contributing to the study of WTC in L2. But, no one can deny that it provides more specific theory and support for the further research of WTC in L2. At the same time, it also enlightens some educators and gives them a lot of help to their work and teaching.

2.2.3    MacIntyre et al.'s (1998) Heuristic Model of Variables Influencing WTC in L2

As the research further develops, scholars expand the perspectives and extend the horizons about WTC. On the basis of previous research and models. In 1998, Maclntyre, Clement, Dornvei and Noels came up with their heuristic model (Figure 3.3), which specifically presents 12 variables influencing learners' willing to communicate in L2. This model is in the shape of a pyramid and known as pyramid model, and it is the most famous and influential model in the study of L2 WTC, which is studied and quoted by a lot of researchers and educators.

This model vividly presents the interrelation among learners' personality, motivation, contest and the behavior of willingness to communicate. Undisputedly, the final target of learning the second language is to use it in real context, which is the top of this pyramid. There are six layers and involved in 12 variables in all. These six layers are Social and Individual context, affective-cognitive, motivational propensities, situated antecedent, behavioral intention and communication behavior from the bottom up. As it can be seen in figure 3, the first three layers present the factors which have situational influence on L2 WTC, while the last three layers show learners' motivation, personality and communicative competence which have a lasting effect on L2 WTC. The following are the details about this model.

The first layer in this pyramid-like model is L2 use and it is the actual communication behavior, which is the purpose and the ultimate aim of the research of L2 WTC. Whether a learner has the actual communication action is directly affected by his WTC and indirectly influenced by the 10 variables in the following layers.

The second layer of this model is Willingness to Communicate. It means learners' behavioral intention to communicate in L2. Without WTC, there will be no communication behavior, which is dominated by the below four layers. Helping a learner improve his WTC is vital and indispensable to the first layer, that is, the actual L2 use.

The third layer in this pyramid-like model is involved two variables. One is “desire to communicate with a specific person”. The other is “state communicative self-confident. This layer is named situated antecedent”. Both of these two variables directly affect the above layer, behavioral intention. Besides, this layer is also thought to be a transition factor from situational influence to lasting ones (the last three layers). These two variables are the precondition and the basis of communication intention and behavior. If a learner doesn't have the desire and self-confidence, it's not likely that he will communicate with others.

The fourth layer of this pyramid-like model is called Motivational propensities. This layer contains three variables. The first one is interpersonal motivation. The second one is intergroup motivation and the last one is L2 self-confidence. This model is the advance of MacIntyre and Charos'(1996) model of WTC in L2, which also shows motivation has a great impact on the path to form L2 WTC straightforward.

The fifth layer of this model is affective-cognitive context that is made up of three factors, intergroup attitudes, social situation and communicative competence. If the communicating group doesn't have friendly attitude, his L2 WTC will be severely affected. Additionally, social situation is very essential to raise learners' L2 WTC. To some degree, communicative competence is corresponding to the same factor mentioned in MacIntyre and Charos'(1996) model ofWTC in L2.

The last layer in this model is named social and individual context. This layer is made up of two variables. One is intergroup climate, and the other is personality. Personality is a relatively stable factor influencing L2 WTC. Intergroup climate is a crucial factor which will urge or hinder a learner's intention to interact with others. The last two layers is the foundation of this pyramid and mainly focus on the importance of context in the development of L2 WTC. Apart from factors about personality, context also should be considered in the research ofL2 WTC.

Compared with MacIntyre and Charos'(1996) model of WTC in L2, which is a personality-base construct, there is no doubt that this model is more specific and comprehensive. This model involves 12 variables, which are divided into 6 layers. The stratification of the pyramid indicates how closely the variables are related to each other. The variables at the top are affected by all the variables at the level below. Even if this model is much more integrated and synthetic than the former ones, the fact can't be ignored that the heuristic model is based on research principally conducted in the western world, based on the Chinese context. Consequently, more research and adjustments should be carried out.

2・2・4 Wen and C10ment's(2003) Conceptualization of WTC in A Chinese Setting

Considering that previous models are mostly about the research conducted in western countries and few in Chinese context, Wen and Clement further expanded the theoretical connotation of L2 WTC. Wen and Clement believed that the WTC models put forward by MacIntyre and his associates is more applicable to the western second-language context, and for Chinese students, local culture has a profound influence on their communication willingness. Therefore, they presented a new model (Figure 4.4) in 2003 and they concentrate on the path model about how the desire to communicate (DC) turn into the willingness to communicate (WTC).

In China, many students are learning English from their primary school to college. However, most of them are good test-takers instead of good English speakers. Wen & Clement (2003) firmly believed that it is a must to find out an appropriate to improve their L2 WTC and further promote their communicative competence in China.

DC means learners' desire to communicate, and WTC refers to learners' willingness to communicate. They are different. Wen & Clement (2003:25) clearly distinguished DC from WTC. WTC means the readiness to communicate with a person at a given time while desire to communicate refers to deliberate choices and preferences. Not all DC can develop into WTC eventually.

For most Chinese students, it is very difficult for them to communicate with others in L2. This is related to the culture influencing them and the environment in which they grow up. In general, there are two reasons for this phenomenon. First of all, most Chinese students are other-directed, which means they care too much about others' feelings and how other people will comment on them. Most Chinese students are afraid to lose face and be laughed at by others when they have the chance to communicate in L2, because they are afraid that their pronunciation are not very accurate and even sounds strange. Besides, they are also very anxious, because, they are afraid to make some stupid mistakes while speaking in L2. Furthermore, another reason is that most Chinese students are learning in a submissive way. In china, most classes are still teacher-centered teaching, if their teachers are not supportive for their L2 use or often criticize their mistakes in the classroom, student are very likely to keep silent and obey their teachers. As a result, whether learners' desire to communicate (DC) can develop into their WTC is influenced by several factors, which are well shown in Wen & Clement'conceptualization ofWTC model.

The process of DC developing into WTC involves four factors, societal context, personality factors, motivational orientation and affective perceptions.

The first factor in this path model is societal context, which includes group cohesiveness and teacher support. Group cohesiveness refers to the joint force of members within groups (Feistinger, 1950:274). If the relation among the group is relatively loose, learners will be unwilling to join it and participate in their communication. Teacher support mainly refers to teacher involvement and teacher immediacy. Teacher support is very essential to the classroom atmosphere. If teachers often participate in students' interaction and provide immediate assistance when needed, the atmosphere will be very friendly and more students are willing to open their mouth and use their L2.

Personality factors are the second factor influencing the process of DC developing into WTC. Risk-taking is one of the two variables in personality factors. The other one is tolerance of ambiguity. Personality factors always have stable and enduring influence on learners' L2 WTC, since it's not easy to change one's personality. Risk-taking is defined as “any consciously or non-consciously controlled behavior with a perceived uncertainty about its outcome” (Trimpop, as cited in Wen & Clement, 2003:29).No one can deny that it's a risk for most people to communicate with others in L2, even if they master the L2 well. If the person doesn't have the courage to take the risk, it will greatly affect his L2 WTC. As for the tolerance of ambiguity, it is very common that native speakers usually don't pay much attention to their grammar while speaking, which will cause some ambiguity in some way, since grammar learning always plays a great role in learning English in Chinese schools. If a learner can't tolerate ambiguity, he probably doesn't want to communicate in L2, because it may cause some misunderstanding and make the learner lose face or be laughed at.

The third factor is motivational orientation, which includes affiliation and task-orientation. As it has been explained in previous models, motivation is a key factor which will influence learners' WTC directly. Only if learners have the motivational tendency to use L2 can they promote their L2 WTC. This factor consists of two variables. Affiliation refers to the learner's consciousness to join a group. Task-orientation refers to learners' willingness to finish tasks assigned by teachers. Both are very vital to promote L2 WTC.

The last factor is affective perceptions, which are made up of two variables, inhibited monitor and positive expectation of evaluation. Communicating with others, especially in public, is under the monitor of others. Unavoidably, other people will focus on their speaking and even make their comments. If a learner can't inhibit his anxiety or fear while being monitored, his WTC will decrease. Besides, most Chinese students are very concerned about the evaluation from others. They are expecting positive evaluation. Therefore, it is very necessary that teachers and other students give positive comments when a student is communicating in L2.

Wen & Clement's (2003) conceptualization of WTC model is intended for English learners in China, so it is very valuable for Chinese educators. It clearly explains the variables that intervene the relation between the desire to communicate (DC) and the willingness to communicate (WTC). It is of great significance to current study and future research about L2 WTC.

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